The Motor Vessel "Once Around"

The Motor Vessel "Once Around"
The Motor Vessel "Once Around" in the Florida Keys

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Paddle Faster, I hear Banjos!

This T-Shirt kind of sums up Vera's White Sands Beach Club on St. Leonard Creek, off the Patuxent (aka "Pax") river Maryland.  Vera's is sort of hard to describe otherwise.  It is a South Sea's Tropical theme river bar.  Kind of like Jimmy Buffet meets the musical South Pacific meets backwoods Americana. 

Carrie really liked the leopard skin motif on the bar stools and bar:

But, I am getting a a bit ahead of myself.

I guess that after leaving Norfolk, Carrie and I were ready to get a little off the beaten path.  The first night we stayed at a little marina in Carter's Cove, off the Rappahonnak River on the west side of the Chesapeake.  We were (no kidding) the first transient boaters (not a bad word for boaters in these parts, the marinas actually compete for your business) that they had ever had!  The owner of the marina actually ran around the nearby towns, Weems and Irvington, after we called ahead for a reservation and gathered up little brochures from all the shops and tourist places to give to us when we arrived.  This is what all the big marinas do.  We have collected quite a pile of the stuff.  We were more interested in the closest place to buy a battery for our dinghy, a story for another time.  So, Tim, the marina owner, gave us a lift the eight miles to...yep...Walmart.  On the way back, we did a "fly-by" Christ Church, which if I remember right was built by the Mr. Carter (of Carter's Cove, and pretty much all the land around these parts) in the mid-1700's and is one of the oldest standing pieces of architecture in America.  We saw it at about 25 mph, but Carrie was able to snap this photo:

To describe the peacefulness of Carter's Cove after Norfolk is difficult.  These pictures do a better job than I could.  The following shots were taken from the boat the morning after we arrived.

OK, maybe that's not quite fair.  The last photo above is not at Carter's Cove, it is my ever vigilant navigator as we came up the Chesapeake.  Nice, huh???  The next photo is actually her at Carter's Cove.

We could have stayed several days, but were anxious to get moving up the Chesapeake.  We had planned to go across the bay to Onancock, but got a tip from some friends who had that it was pretty dull.  The way she put it was, "...the people were really nice and the flowers were very pretty".  It reminded me how Illa (my buddy John's mom) used to try and hook he and his brothers up with girls, but when they asked if she was good looking, Illa would tell them only, "She has pretty eyes".  That was a dead give away that the girl was homely at best.  So, reading between the lines of "nice folks" and "pretty flowers", we opted to head directly up to our next planned stop, the Solomons.

The Solomons is a boating Mecca for not only Loopers, but locals from Washington DC, Baltimore and Annapolis as well.  It is a very busy recreational area, with dozens of marinas.  So, naturally my bride and I go five or six miles up river from the crowd, and find the quitest, tiniest cove ever.  We had it to ourselves, almost..

It was so small I actually anchored outside first and took the dinghy in to check the depth.  There was plenty and we anchored at what I thought was the very end of Leonard Creek.  Turns out I was wrong.  The aforementioned Vera's was a half mile or so up the creek.  We dinghy'd up for dinner our second night there and enjoyed a little of the local flavor.  This was not a "yachting" crowd.  A sign at the door had about twenty rules, including, "caps cannot be worn backward or to the side", and "no biker colors permitted".  As we entered I noticed one of the bartenders with his hat on backwards and a biker complete with black leather "colors" and headband.  So much for the rules.  It reminded me of Moore's Riverboat years ago on the Mokulumne River back home, minus the ladies underwear pinned to the ceiling of the bar.  But, I wouldn't have been at all surprised to find that at Vera's too!

Today we again crossed the bay into Oxford, MD.  There were small craft warnings for late afternoon, so I was a bit apprehensive, but we got a very early start and the bay was like glass, literally, you could have water skied most of the way.  We arrived, washed the boat (long overdue) and had a "docktail" party with a few looper friends, then a quiet dinner in town.  The other three looper boats here are leaving tomorrow, but we need another down day.  Besides, the small craft warnings are for all day tomorrow, and we're fair weather boaters!

No comments:

Post a Comment